Wine Reviews: European Roundup

This week I have a round-up of new releases from France, Spain, and Italy.

My first international wine trip was a deep dive into the Languedoc region of Southern France ten years ago. I was blown away by the history, the different terroirs and wines, the rock outcroppings, and gnarly old vines. Today, I’m revisiting Southern France with four diverse wines, classic styles, and varied regions. The quality and value in these wines has always been attractive to me, and that trend continues here.

I also have some really interesting Tuscan red blends for the Super Tuscan lovers out there. Podere Sapaio and Tenuta Luce deliver some cellar worthy gems.

In summer, Albarino has been a favorite of mine for a long time. And it is expressed most clearly in Spain’s Rias Baixas region. But there are also a ton of styles and nuances in the different subregions and producers. This week, I have a few that would hit the spot this summer.

These wines were received as samples and tasted sighted.


2022 Château Haut-Gleon Corbières Rosé France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Corbières
SRP: $20
Such pale pink color. Aromatically, this pops with fresh strawberries, crunchy red apples, with sliced rhubarb, white pepper, celery seed, with flinty, fresh blossom notes. Creamy texture, surprisingly deep, but super tangy acidity, and flavors of white cherries and strawberries. The fruit mixes with fresh cucumber, rhubarb, celery, with white and yellow flowers, and notes of honey and dandelion. Vibrant, well-balanced, a complex rose that would be great this summer or any time of year. A blend of Grenache Gris, Sauvignon Gris, Syrah, and Marselan. (90 points IJB)

2022 Fleurs de Prairie Côtes de Provence Rosé France, Provence, Côtes de Provence
SRP: $20
Pale copper color. The nose shows a spritely mix of red apples, wild raspberries, crunchy red apples, with chalk dust, flinty minerals, celery seed, and mint. The palate is light and racy with a brisk appeal and flavors of green melon, crunchy green and red apples, with notes of sea salt, dandelion, white pepper, minerals, chalk dust. Fun a vibrant. Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. (87 points IJB)

N.V. Jean-Claude Mas Crémant de Limoux Cote Mas France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Crémant de Limoux
SRP: $22
Light gold color. Aromas are vibrant and perfumed, with tart green and red apples, white peach, along with apple cider, spiced tea, some crunchy, herbal tones. The palate shows a ripe texture but brisk appeal with flavors of orange peel, white peach, and crunchy green apples. Flinty, floral, crushed shells and sweet tart tones, with a nice herbal, salty appeal. Such a fun, modern example of an ancient wine, one that would be great by-the-glass or for summer celebrations. Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Muazac. (89 points)

2020 Château d’Aussieres Corbières Altan d’Aussières France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Corbières
SRP: $25
Deep purple color. Super juicy, dark and vibrant aromas with a spicy, sun-roasted mix of delightful scents: black pepper, paprika, menthol, roasted herbs, warm clay – classic Languedoc goodness. The wine is full but fresh, a chewy mouthfeel with rich flavors of black cherries and dark plums. The complexities are classic and delightful, with notes of dusty earth, tobacco, anise, savory broth, sage, roasted red pepper. There are deep tones of mocha and black tea as well, with gravelly loam and black pepper. Fruity and easy-drinking but complex and woven together so well, too. I love the value and flair of Corbieres, and this one is sure worth checking out. Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan. (90 points IJB)


2022 Mar de Frades Albariño Spain, Galicia, Rías Baixas
SRP: $27
Light yellow color. The nose pops with spritely elements of sea salt, chalk dust, along with lemon, quince, tart green apples, and tones of dandelion and white flowers. The palate sports racy acidity and crunchy…

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Wine Reviews: European Roundup Wine Reviews: European Roundup *Wine Reviews: European Roundup